For a lot of people, the phrase “direct mail” conjures up images of 50% off coupons for vacuum cleaners. In short: junk mail. But when it’s done well, it works. Harvard Business Review says that response rates for direct mail are more than twice as high as email, display ads, and paid search. Turns out direct mail can be a great channel for engaging with potential customers. But what does a successful campaign look like? What kinds of offers attract more leads? In this post, we’ll look at six direct mail examples to spark ideas of your own. Keep your eye out for these best practices:
Direct mail campaigns still remain a key tool in the overall marketing plans of many businesses. When planned, executed and refined correctly, they can be a very effective way of gaining visibility with tangible and measurable results.
Here are a few strategies for optimizing your efforts:
Start with the basics
1. Identify your market: Where will you be sending your pieces and why? The narrower your target audience, the more effective your campaign will be because your message and offer will resonate more clearly.
2. Focus your message on benefits: Ensure that your copywriting includes the benefits most valuable to the consumer rather than the features of your product or service. Most consumers value cost, peace of mind, convenience and quality.
3. Create an easy and direct call to action: What do you want the customer to do - call you, schedule a free consultation, come in? Be clear, direct and frequent in your copy and consider creating a sense of urgency or scarcity by letting them know that supplies or space are limited.
Maximize your impact
4. Direct mail cannot stand alone: Companies that see the highest response rate from their direct mail campaigns are those that integrate it with other marketing efforts. Also, one single mailing does not make a campaign. Be prepared to send out a series of mailings to create a better response rate — consistency is key.
5. Refine and update your list: As you receive feedback and new responses, make sure you keep those records current. Having your sales team connect with existing clients on a regular basis aids in keeping your internal list accurate. If you maintain a retail storefront, get in the habit of verifying customer contact information when they visit.
6. Repurpose: When appropriate use your same mailers for local events, sales kits, handouts, etc. so that you can take advantage of high volume printing discounts. Consider mailing to your vendors as well as your prospects.
7. Make it personal: Personalize your messages as much as possible. Do not limit this to just the headline; insert the consumer's name as often as is reasonable. Also, pictures (you, your staff, your trucks, etc.) help to make a personal connection with your consumer.
8. Testimonials are not lip service: When they sound authentic and are tied directly to your key benefits, testimonials are a great way of social-proofing your expertise. Including tangible success stories helps to quantify the consumer's return on investment. Testimonials with a picture of the customer are most effective.
9. Follow up: Sticking with only a passive means of communication with your consumer limits your response rate. Whenever possible, follow up with both initial responders and non-responders.
I would wager that most business owners under the age of 35 probably have never even considered running a direct mail marketing campaign for their business. Having grown up in an increasingly paperless world, the mere concept of spending precious marketing dollars on printing up thousands of pieces of paper to stuff into mailboxes across a large swath of people seems pretty crazy to the younger generation of entrepreneurs – and it’s not a baseless feeling. There’s no denying that the business world (and our world in general) has been dramatically swinging toward the quicker, more efficient, much cheaper, and much more environmentally friendly realm of electronic communication. But does direct mail marketing actually work?
The cost of a mailing list depends on the type of list you purchase. An Occupant List starts at about $12.00 per thousand records. A Consumer List starts at $33.66 per thousand and a Business List will run about $45.00 per thousand records.
Mail lists make the most sense if you are trying to target a particular demographic group, based on household income, purchase history, gender, etc. Be aware that the more you mine the data, the more expensive the per record cost becomes. The upside of mining is that your purchased list of names may be much smaller and the propensity for those individuals to purchase your product or service is much higher. As an example, if you were a Dog Groomer sending Direct Mail to 1000 households at 5¢ a record ($50), that might sound like a good investment. But if you mined that same data for 10¢ per record for dog owners and found that only 400 people owned dogs, you’re now at $40 and the people receiving your mail have a 300% greater likely hood of using your service!
Get by with a Little Help from Your Friends...
...at AMPlified Mail! We can guide you in the right direction for Mailing List decision making. In fact, we have products that allow you to mail to every home in an entire zip code without purchasing a list at all! Give us a call, we’ll be happy to assist.
When including Direct Mail into your Advertising Budget, here are a few things you want to be sure to factor into the equation. Some of these items are easily overlooked and are not an option, so it's best to plan ahead so you start cutting into your bottom-line before you even begin your promotion.
The basic make up (and cost) of a Direct Mail campaign is comprised of 3 items.
Design Cost, Print Cost and Postage Cost. If you’ve already read our How Much Does it Cost to Send 1,000 Postcards blog, you understand the combined Print/Postage cost per thousand for 9 x 6 mailer on 120# Card Stock. Below is a quick illustration of postage cost only for the same 1,000 pcs.